War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0254 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

was obeyed promptly, and I had the satisfaction of seeing the enemy's fire slacken and in a few minutes quit altogether. Moving my command still farther to the east, and facing the enemy, I consulted with Colonel Bane for a few moments, and it was decided to fall back beyond a slight hill to our rear, so as to conceal our force, leaving the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry and a regiment of Colonel Bane's command concealed in ambush, the former on the north side of the railroad, and the latter in the woods lately occupied by the enemy, on the south side. At the same time the artillery, consisting of Welker's and Richardson's batteries, with their horses concealed behind the hill, was to be placed in battery just on its brow. At this time, and while the preliminaries were being arranged, the enemy opened on us with a piece of artillery. However, the arrangements agreed on were carried out, and in about half an hour, after all had settled down in quietness, the enemy made an attempt to move toward us, when the two infantry regiments, which had been left concealed, opened on them, emptying many saddles and driving them in dismay. Night was now coming on, when we were joined by the balance of General Dodge's command, and went into camp for the night, the two regiments of infantry already spoken of remaining in their concealment all night.

The casualties happening to my command were very few. Our killed were Captain [James C.] Cameron and 2 privates. In the unfortunate matter of the capture of the guns, we lost 45, taken prisoners, including Lieutenant Krebs, commanding the guard. The loss of the enemy was heavy, but I have no official means of getting at the exact number.

On Saturday, April 18, in pursuance of instructions from General Dodge, my command was moved out toward Caney Creek, but did not proceed beyond the clover-field mentioned in the report of the transactions of the day before, and, after halting a short time, I received orders to fall back to Bear Creek, which I did, reaching that place and going into camp about nightfall.

On the following day, Sunday, 19th, on the receipt of orders from headquarters, I started with my command, now reduced by the loss of the First Alabama Cavalry, which had been ordered to report to Colonel Bane, and Captain Ford's squadron, of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, which was doing orderly duty for General Dodge, and, taking a guide, moved by an unfrequented road around to Buzzard Roost Creek, hoping by this means to take the enemy in the rear. Owing, however, to the high stage of water in the creek, I was not able to cross it at the point desired, and by that means I emerged from the woods directly in the enemy's front, and near the Widow Barton's plantation. Here, in a field and in the road, the enemy were drawn up to receive us. I sent forward the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, Major F. T. Gilbert, to skirmish with the enemy, and ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips to dismount his command and deploy to the right and left as skirmishers, supporting him on the left by the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Bowen, at the same time directing Major Gilbert to move gradually to the right, to support him on that flank. We gradually moved on the enemy, driving him to Buzzard Roost, and on the summit of the hill he made a halt. I at once ordered all hands to charge, which was done with a yell, the enemy retiring even more rapidly than we advanced. He again showed himself in line at the edge of a wood, nearly a mile distant. Here I ordered a halt, and after several ineffectual attempts to draw him out, I concluded to fall back to camp. On our way back, we found the dead bodies of 5 rebels, lying at the place of our first encounter. We also captured a prisoner, the bearer of dispatches.

On Monday, the 20th, my command lay all day in camp at Bear Creek.